The early years
Kansas City traces its beginnings to 1821, when Missouri was admitted to the Union. In that year, Francois Chouteau, a French man living in St. Louis, came up the Missouri River and established a trading post on the waterway in the area that is now the northeast industrial district. Another young trader, John Calvin McCoy, opened a store inland on the Santa Fe Trail. He considered his land a portal to the West and thus named it Westport.
McCoy and 13 other men purchased a farm in the area and formed the town/company that later became Kansas City's downtown district. The new owners decided to name the township the Town of Kansas after the Kansa Indians, or Kaws, who inhabited the area.
The town retained its name when it was incorporated and granted a charter by Jackson County on June 1, 1850. When it was incorporated by the state Feb. 22, 1853, the town became the City of Kansas and in 1889, it officially became known as Kansas City.
The City of Kansas City, Mo., has a council-manager form of government and operates in portions of Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte counties. A professional administration team (the city manager and his staff) handles daily city government operations in accordance with the city charter, ordinances and City Council priorities.
The city manager is the City’s chief administrator and is responsible for seeing that city government is run efficiently and economically. The city manager serves and advises the mayor and the City Council, appoints most department directors and prepares an annual budget for City Council consideration.
The city manager does not appoint the chief of the Police Department or the director of the Parks and Recreation Department, both of whom are appointed by the boards they serve. The city auditor and the city clerk are appointed by the City Council.